Big Week for ABI Last Week; More Ahead

October 10, 2016


Legends Dinner, Advanced Manufacturing Conference Big Success; Honorees Named

Last Monday evening, ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing program hosted the second annual "Legends in Manufacturing" Dinner.  The next day, ABI hosted the annual Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference.  According to ABI members, both events were hugely successful. 

Thank you to the hundreds of you that participated in one or both of these important events.  Based on your feedback, we are already planning even bigger and better events for next year.  Watch for more information soon. 

In the meantime, it is a pleasure to note the companies and individuals who were honored at the Legends Dinner: ABI Board Member Bruce Tamisiea (Tecton Industries, Spencer), ABI Board Member Roger Hargens (Accumold, Ankeny), Immediate Past ABI Chair Paul Gregoire (Emerson/Fisher, Marshalltown), former ABI Board Member John W. Norris, Sr. (Lennox, Marshalltown), former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly), and Sarah Dvorak (Kreg Tool Company, Huxley).  Congratulations to all! 

Next Board Meeting a Month Away; Board Will Meet at ABI in Des Moines

ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) is inviting all former chairs and members of the board to join her for the final board meeting of 2016.  The board will meet at ABI headquarters in Des Moines' East Village. 

The board will meet on Wednesday, November 9.  Find more information and register now at  You can expect a very full agenda.  Again, this will be the final board meeting of the calendar year and I hope you can all attend. 

Steve Dust Named Recipient of Third Annual ABI 'Advocacy in Action' Award

Last week's annual ABI Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference was a great success, with roughly 300 members participating.  One of those leaders was recognized as the third recipient of a prestigious award.  

ABI Board Member Steve Dust (Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo) was presented with the ABI Advocacy in Action Award.  After comments about his service, support, and leadership, ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield) and ABI Senior Vice President Public Policy Nicole Crain presented Steve with the award.  Lori and Nicole shared comments about Steve's strong support for the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee (of which he is a board member), about his strong relationships with policy makers around the state, and about the way he encourages business people in NE Iowa to become involved in IIPAC and advancing ABI's public policy agenda. 

ABI salutes and congratulates Steve Dust! 

IIPAC Board to Meet; Survey Being Conducted, Please Participate If Contacted

As you know, ABI is often cited (and has been for years) as one of the most effective organizations in Iowa when it comes to advancing its public policy agenda. The number reason for that, of course, is the work of you and your employees.  Having a great policy staff is another key.  And a final key resource is the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee, ABI's political arm. 

IIPAC, which is chaired by former ABI Chair Kirk Tyler (Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waukee), has an engaged board of directors.  in fact, the IIPAC board will meet later today at ABI. 

IIPAC has initiated a project to further grow and develop its funding and donor base (both in terms of donors and giving amounts). A key part of that project is work being done for IIPAC by Sagac Public Affairs, a nationally-recognized firm helping ABI grow IIPAC. 

Many of you will be receiving a request this week to help ABI gauge awareness of the IIPAC program and its needs. Moving forward, we are working to make IIPAC better and your input is extremely important in that regard.  If you receive the survey, please take a few moments (it should take literally five minutes to complete) participate.  The result of this work will be an even more effective IIPAC and continued and improved strong advocacy for Iowa business. 

ABI Featured in BIPAC Publication

Speaking of ABI's public policy work, the association is featured in the October edition of BIPAC's Monthly News & Updates eNewsletter.   BIPAC, the Business and Industry Political Action Committee in Washington, DC, is a key ABI partner.  This month's newsletter highlights ABI's Get Out The Vote initiative and features a video starring ABI staff members Nicole Crain, Jessica Harder, and Emily Schettler.  

If you wish to see the newsletter, reply to this memorandum and I will get it to you at once. In the meantime, congratulations to Nicole, Jessica, and Emily for this great national recognition! 

Conference Committee Meets Tomorrow

Believe me when I tell you that you do not want to miss the 2017 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference. Plans are shaping up to make this event truly spectacular. 

Making sure that is the case is a great conference planning committee, chaired by Amy Jones (Agri-Industrial Plastics Company, Fairfield).  The committee will hold its October meeting tomorrow.  Look for much more news in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, mark your calendars now for June 6-8 and we'll see you in Dubuque for a fabulous conference! 

ABI Advisory Council Meets Thursday

The monthly meeting of the ABI Advisory Council will be held Thursday in Des Moines.  As always, ABI thanks the members of the advisory council, who are all key resources for ABI members.  

Thank you to ABI Advisory Council members 21st Century Rehab, ATW Training Solutions, BCC Advisers, Brick Gentry P.C., BrownWinick, CIRAS, CliftonLarsonAllen, EMC, Focus OneSource, Global Reach, LMC Insurance and Risk Management, Manpower, Measured Intentions, Principal Financial Group, Spindustry Digital, Transition Point Business Advisors, and Wellmark

2016-2017 Leadership Iowa Class to Hold First Session

As you read in last week's Memo, the initial session of the 2016-2017 Leadership  Iowa class will be held this week in Red Oak.  The 35th annual class will hear from terrific speakers, tour area companies, and get to know each other.   The class will meet again in November.  

As members of the board, you will have multiple opportunities to meet the LI class during the coming months.  In the meantime, thank you for your support of the LI program.  

First of 2016-2017 Connecting Statewide Leaders Event December 8th in Pella

A few years ago, at the request of members looking for more association events in locations outside Des Moines, ABI created the Connecting Statewide Leaders Seminars.  The events have proven very popular and are held throughout the fall and winter around Iowa.  The first event in the 2016-2017 pair will be held December 8th in Pella.  

Each of the Connecting Leaders events has drawn a great crowd and the series has resulted in new association members.  The luncheon following the event on December 8  will provide a great opportunity to visit with fellow ABI members, meet the new Leadership Iowa class, and develop new customers.  Please mark your calendar now and watch for more details to come your way soon. 

Anderson, Schettler return from ASCP Conference

Today, two members of the ABI staff return from a national conference. Vice President for Member Development and Programs Kathy Anderson and Communications Coordinator Emily Schettler spent part of last week in Austin, Texas.   

Kathy and Emily were representing ABI at the annual meeting of the Association of State Chamber Professionals. Welcome home, Kathy and Emily! 

Vantec, Kreg Tool, and Thombert Host Governor

Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad is a strong supporter of ABI and Iowa manufacturing. In addition to his remarks at the ABI Advanced Manufacturing Conference and the signing of a proclamation honoring manufacturing, he ended last week by touring three great ABI members. 

On Friday, Governor Branstad toured Vantec, Kreg Tool Company, and Thombert, Inc.  Thank you to the Governor and thank you and congratulations to Sherri Hotzler (Vantec, Webster City), ABI Board Member Todd Sommerfeld (Kreg Tool Company, Huxley), and ABI Board Member Dick Davidson (Thombert, Newton)!  

Economist Marci Rossell Delivers Sensational Presentation

This week's Memo began with information in part about ABI's annual Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Conference. The conference enjoyed strong participation and is receiving great feedback.  One of the speakers is being universally praised for a terrific presentation. 

Former CNBC Chief Economist and finance expert Dr. Marci Rossell wowed the crowd with her informative remarks... and she even made predictions. A major part of her speech focused on her prediction that "India will be the new China," meaning that the Indian economy is poised for tremendous growth.  After noting that Europe's economy is "in the toilet," Dr. Rossell also foresaw a breakup of the European Union, with the so-called Brexit vote as the first step.  

Dr. Rossell also sees growth in spending by the millennial generation. Key to that will be sustained low interest rates and low energy costs.  Millennials will drive public policy in the United States for the next 30 years, she noted.  Thank you to Dr. Rossell for her terrific presentation.